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key requirements

Computer Checklist

The following is a list of basic computer hardware and software minimum requirements needed to successfully take courses online. Please check the syllabus of individual courses for additional computer hardware and software requirements.

PC Platform:

  • Operating System: Windows 8.1 (32-bit/64-bit), Windows 8 (32-bit/64-bit), Windows 7 (32-bit/64-bit)
  • Processor: 1.4GHz Intel® Pentium® 4 or faster processor (or equivalent) for Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1
  • RAM: 512MB of RAM (1GB recommended) for Windows 7 or Windows 8
  • Free Hard Disk Space: 200 MB required
  • Audio: 16 bit Sound Card and USB Headphones with microphone required
  • Video: NVIDIA GeForce 6600 or better, OR ATI Radeon 9500 or better, OR Intel 945 chipset
  • Webcam: Built-in to laptops or external
  • Software: Microsoft Internet Explorer 8, 9, 10, 11; Mozilla Firefox; Windows Media Player 11 or better (free version available), Acrobat Reader, Adobe® Flash® Player 11.2+
  • Java (for Collaborate): Java SE 6U13 or higher, Java SE 7, Java Access Bridge 2.0.2 (Windows Vista, 7, 8) on Java website.

Macintosh Platform:

  • Operating System: Mac OS X 10.7.4, 10.8, 10.9
  • Processor: 1.83GHz Intel Core™ Duo or faster processor
  • RAM: 512MB of RAM (1GB recommended)
  • Free Hard Disk Space: 200 MB
  • Audio: USB Headphones with microphone required
  • Video: ATI Radeon 9200 and above, OR ATI Radeon X Series, OR NVIDIA GeForce 2, GeForce 4, OR NVIDIA GeForce 5000 Series and above
  • Webcam: Built-in to laptops or external
  • Software: Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Windows Media Player Components for QuickTime (free version available), Acrobat Reader, Adobe Flash Player 11.2+
  • Java (for Collaborate): Apple Java 1.6.0_07 (J2SE6-64 bit) Oracle Java 1.7 on Java website.

Screen Readers

  • JAWS 13 and 14 support both 32-bit and 64-bit OSs/JVMs

Adobe Connect Meetings

  • Meeting Attendees: Bandwidth of 256 Kbps (512 Kbps recommended) for participants, meeting attendees, and end users of Adobe Connect applications. USB Headphones with microphone required.
  • Meeting Hosts: DSL/cable (wired connection recommended) for Adobe Connect presenters, administrators, trainers, and event and meeting hosts. USB Headphones with microphone required.
  • Adobe Connect users can test their computer readiness here for their Connect sessions

Blackboard Collaborate Meetings

  • For Collaborate sessions you need to install Java. Complete system requirements for Collaborate can be found here. First time Collaborate users can check their system readiness on Blackboard Support website. Macintosh operating systems are not fully supported at this time.

Mobile Device Information

  • Adobe Connect Meetings: Host, present, and participate in a Adobe Connect meeting on any mobile device, including iPhone, iPad, Google Android, and BlackBerry PlayBook. To download Adobe Connect Mobile App for your mobile device and list of Adobe Connect features supported by the app visit Adobe Connect website.
  • Presentations: To access online course presentations on iPad download Adobe Presenter Mobile app at Apple iTunes website. For the best experience in taking an online course Puffin browser is highly recommended. To download Puffin browser for your mobile device click here.
  • Blackboard Collaborate: To participate in a Blackboard Collaborate session you can download the free iOS app at App Store. For your Android device the App can be downloaded at Google Play. You can also connect directly from NIU Mobile App. Blackboard Collaborate Mobile is available on Amazon Kindle Fire, Blackberry App World and Palm OS.